The majority of the contents in this guide apply to both StudioPlus Spectra AND myStratus Desktop.
In most cases, instructions referring to "Spectra" also apply to myStratus Desktop.


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Cropping Images

There are several places in the software that provide the opportunity to crop your images, including the Workflow hub, the Sales Presentation module, and each invoice or production order. The cropping tool is non-destructive and includes optional guides for consistent cropping.


The cropping tool was completely updated in Spectra and myStratus 2016! Instead of drawing a crop box on top of an image, you now move and zoom the image within the crop boundaries. The new cropping tool also has it's own set of tools and hot keys that make it easy to quickly crop all the images in a session.

Setting up Crop Ratios

  1. Open the Workflow hub.

  2. Open the Crop menu on the ribbon. You'll see a list of your current crop ratios, along with some other options.

  3. Click Edit Crop Ratios to open your crop ratios list.

  4. Use the first line in the grid to add a new ratio.

  5. Incorporate guidelines if desired. Note: Guidelines can be turned off/on when using the crop tool.


    Guide lines are an optional feature you can include with your crop ratios. Use them to show center marks, rule of thirds, head size, and more. The sky is the limit because you get to create them! Use Photoshop to create an image file with the same dimensions as your crop ratio and a transparent background. Draw the guides you want and then save the file as a PNG.  Here's an example of a file I've created in Photoshop: 

    Now, create a new crop ratio in Spectra/myStratus. For this example, name the ratio "4x6 Headshot." Set the Width = 4 and the Height = 6. In the Vertical Guide Lines field, click Change. Now browse to the PNG file you created and click Open. That's it!

  6. Use the tools on the ribbon to organize the ratios in the order you prefer.

  7. Close the list when finished.

Cropping Images

These instructions describe how to crop from the Workflow hub. Remember, you can also crop from an invoice, production order, or in the Sales Presentation module.

  1. Open the Workflow hub and select a session with images.

  2. Open the Image Viewer and select the first image you want to crop.

  3. Open the Crop menu and choose the appropriate ratio.

  4. Click Crop to begin. The crop ribbon will appear and the image will be displayed within the chosen ratio. If the crop ratio has been set up to include guidelines, they will also be shown. Tip: In the example below, our 4x6 crop ratio has been set up to include guidelines that also show if the image could be safely cropped as a 5x7 or an 8x10 if the client decided to order those sizes. You can create your own guidelines in Photoshop and save them as PNG files to be attached to your crop ratios in the software.

  5. Use your mouse and mouse wheel to move and adjust the image within the crop boundary.


    Did you know you can change how much your mouse wheel adjusts the image when you scroll? Go to Maintenance > Preferences > Workstation Preferences and adjust the Mouse Wheel Zooming setting on the Digital tab. Move the slider to the Smoother side of the scale to zoom just a little with each scroll. See also: Workstation Preferences - Digital   

  6. When satisfied, click Save and Next on the ribbon. (Or use Ctrl+Shift+S.)

  7. Adjust the next image.

  8. Continue through the images, saving each crop before moving on to the next.

  9. Close the Crop ribbon when finished.


Did you know there are actually two different crops in the software? We refer to them as the Display Crop and the Order Crop. So what's the difference?

The Display Crop can be thought of as your "presales" crop. It's the crop you apply to your images in order to present them to the client. Some studios like to crop all their images in such a way as to make sure the image will fit any of the main print sizes the client might order. Other studios like to crop an image multiple ways to show different effects (i.e., full-length vertical vs. tight crop horizontal). Your display crops are non-destructive (you can always modify or remove them).

When an image is ordered, it is then given a "final" crop for each product the client ordered from it. This is the Order Crop. One image may have several different order crops, each based on the ratio of the ordered product.

See also

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